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Traders who illegaly sell knives to underage children in Tower Hamlets could be jailed

PUBLISHED: 16:21 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:04 15 August 2018

Some of the knives recovered after they were sold to young people. Pic: LBTH

Some of the knives recovered after they were sold to young people. Pic: LBTH

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These knives have all been illegaly sold to underage children by dodgy traders in Tower Hamlets this year.

Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs observed a briefing before a test purchasing operation in which two 15-year-old girls were sent into shops with the aim of attempting to purchase knives. Pic: LBTHTower Hamlets mayor John Biggs observed a briefing before a test purchasing operation in which two 15-year-old girls were sent into shops with the aim of attempting to purchase knives. Pic: LBTH

The town hall released this image today as it issued a warning to traders that they could face up to six months in jail if they are caught selling knives to anyone under 18 in a “zero-tolerance” crackdown on knife-crime.

The warning came after the results of test purchase operations revealed knives had been unlawfully sold seven times since January.

Before traders might have got off with a caution or warning letter, but now face being taken to court.

Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs said: “Too often in London we have seen families and communities torn apart by the horrific consequences of knife crime.”

Retailers across Tower Hamlets have been warned they face prosecution if they are caught selling knives to young people. Pic: LBTHRetailers across Tower Hamlets have been warned they face prosecution if they are caught selling knives to young people. Pic: LBTH

He added it was important to stop knives getting into the wrong hands.

In a test purchase on Tuesday two 15-year-old girls were sent into shops tasked with buying knives to flush out any rogue shopkeepers.

They visited five shops and were unlawfully sold a knife in one of them.

Cllr Asma Begum, the council’s community safety chief, said: “We know tackling crime is the number one priority for residents and are determined to do whatever is necessary to make Tower Hamlets a safer place.”

There were 311 reported crimes involving an offensive weapon between August last year and July, according to Met figures.

On Monday a 36-year-old man was left fighting for his life after he was stabbed in a fight in Trafalgar Gardens, Stepney.

Earlier this month a 15-year-old boy was stabbed outside Gayton House tower block in Knapp Road, Bromley-by-Bow.

In June a man suffered multiple stab wounds during a knife attack in Cable Street, Shadwell.

Nationally, the police recorded 40,147 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in the year ending March 2018, a 16 per cent increase on the year before and the highest since 2011.

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